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Business News Roundup, Dec. 14, 2021

A sign that a major social policy and environmental bill might be trimmed further, disappearing discounts in the retail sector, a dimmed forecast on solar growth, rising COVID-19 hospitalizations in Connecticut, and elevated Connecticut quits are among the top business news items this morning.


Senator Joe Manchin is again expressing concerns about the size of a $2 trillion social policy and environmental bill, raising the possibility that the legislation could be further pared back to maintain the slim majority needed to pass in the evenly divided Senate. The bill’s provisions include funding for initiatives such as a federal paid family and medical leave program and universal pre-kindergarten.

Business trends

Retailers have been raising prices and trimming discounts in response to inflation and supply chain challenges, reversing their normal strategy of dropping prices to attract holiday shoppers. Analysts expect a broader shift away from discounts, with some promotions based on shopper habits returning once disruptions have eased.

A forecast from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie anticipates that the solar industry will grow 25 percent slower than originally expected due to higher costs and supply chain disruptions. The projection comes after strong growth in renewable installations in recent years.


Connecticut’s COVID-19 daily test positivity rate fell substantially over the weekend, though hospitalizations continued to climb. Rising COVID numbers have prompted some states to reinstate indoor mask rules, though Connecticut has so far not taken this step.

Quits have been up nationwide, and in Connecticut they have topped 40,000 for three consecutive months. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that about 44,000 people left their jobs in September but fewer than 10,000 filed for unemployment, suggesting that those quitting their professions are pursuing education, starting their own business, or focusing on family matters.

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